Njala University, AVDP Signs $191.9M Oil Palm Project

Njala University has, on Thursday 28th May, 2020 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Agriculture Value Chain Development Project (AVDP) to implement a USD 191,900,000 Oil Palm project at the University Secretariat, Njala Campus.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture (DMA), Dr Abdul Karim, members of AVDP Project Management Unit (PMU) and officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF).
The AVDP Project Manager told members of Njala University administration the project, funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), was geared towards nursing around 540, 000 oil palm seedlings.
The nursing of the seedlings, the Project Manager says, will commence in the next three months for onward distribution to fifteen districts in Sierra Leone.
He praised the capacity of School of Agriculture and Food Science of Njala University for successfully implementing past IFAD-funded projects to the funders’ satisfaction.
He assured all that they would work together to implement the deliverables of the project.
Acting Vice Chancellor and Principal of Njala University, Professor Osman Sankoh welcomed the DMA and the AVDP Project Management Unit.
He said he was overwhelmed with joy for a high- profile delegation led by the DMA who abandoned their busy schedules to facilitate the signing of the project.
The signing, according to the Vice Chancellor, was a demonstration of MAF’s commitment to increasing the profile of Njala University and boosting agriculture in the country.
Prof. Sankoh assures the AVDP Project Management Unit and the Minister that his staff at the School of Agriculture has all what it takes to implement the project.
DMA, Dr Abdul Karim noted that the ‘New Direction’ Government was not only keen at improving agriculture for farmers but also committed to building the capacity of key institutions like Njala University.
Capacity building, the DMA says, is to enhance national agricultural promotion.
In his speech, Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC), Njala Campus, Professor Bashiru Koroma thanked DMA and the AVDP Project Management Unit for reposing confidence in Njala University.
He entreated the Ministry of Agriculture to trigger the framework agreement with Njala University to enhance a healthy working relationship that would promote research development and national agricultural promotion.
While giving vote of thanks, Dr Alieu Bah, Head of Department, Crop Science in the School of Agriculture and Food Science praised the Acting Vice Chancellor and Principal for the support accorded to the School in actualizing the signing of the MOU.
He underscored the point that the project will increase the profile of the University to once more provide jobs and enhance the capacity of women and youths in the surrounding communities.
The University, he went on, would also benefit from tools and training for its students during the project implementation stage.
Signing of MOU between the DMA on behalf of AVDP/IFAD and the Acting Vice Chancellor and Principal, Professor Osman Sankoh on behalf of Njala University formed the most significant part of the ceremony.
Credit: Public Relations Unit, Njala University.

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